Disadvantaging Black Students with a Demand for ‘Linguistic Justice’

On August 3, the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication approved a position statement on “Black Linguistic Justice.” The statement was crafted as a set of “demands” that “teachers stop using academic language and standard English as the accepted communicative norm.” The “Four Cs” is the largest and most important professional … Continue reading “Disadvantaging Black Students with a Demand for ‘Linguistic Justice’”

Why Literary Scholarship Matters

A recent book by Thomas L. Martin and Duke Pesta, The Renaissance and the Postmodern: A Study in Comparative Critical Values represents something of a critical cat among the contemporary theoretical pigeons. Martin and Pesta, associate professors of English at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, respectively, set out to judge the … Continue reading “Why Literary Scholarship Matters”

Three Ways Declining English Departments Can Be Relevant Again

A major in English was once a serious endeavor masquerading as a frivolous one. Despite the occasional “do you want fries with that?” condescension from business or science students, the study of literature—immersion in its aesthetic, historical, and philosophical contexts—conserved for posterity a reservoir of truth and paid forward for humanity a legacy of beauty … Continue reading “Three Ways Declining English Departments Can Be Relevant Again”

Teaching Freshman English: It’s a Battlefield

So you think you might like teaching college English. You love the language and its great works. Lots of people are like that, including me. Good, but beware. Teaching college English, especially freshman comp, is not for the faint-hearted. If you are drawn to the profession by the joys you experienced in grad school reading … Continue reading “Teaching Freshman English: It’s a Battlefield”